The government of Belgium has tightened restrictions this week. Forget about that romantic dinner in your favorite restaurant. And don’t plan on a jaunt through town after midnight. It’s all due to the escalating coronavirus. The country is joining its neighbors like France and the Netherlands to fight COVID. Yes, the second wave of the coronavirus is hitting Europe hard. According to the European Center for Disease Control, there have been more than 7 million cases of COVID-19 in Europe with more than 241,000 deaths. And the numbers are rising.
Curfews and Restrictions
The Netherlands is in partial lockdown. The government is encouraging people to work from home where possible. In addition, people should avoid busy places and stay at least 1.5 meters (about 5 feet) apart. Restaurants and bars may only offer takeout and delivery service and alcoholic beverages are not supplied after 8 p.m. Thank goodness for services like HelloFresh! With home delivery, you don’t have to leave the house to go grocery shopping.
Paris and eight other cities in France are subject to a curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. So, the streets are empty tonight. The country reported more than 57,000 new coronavirus cases over the weekend.
Across the channel in Ireland, the country will return to a complete lock-down for six weeks! The order bans house visits, closes most retail stores and requires people to stay within three miles of their homes. Gyms are closed and both inside and outdoor events banned. Churches are also closed.
Belgium – Safety Comes First
The growing COVID-19 infections have alarmed officials. Even former Belgian prime minister Sophie Wilmès has been stricken with the disease. Brussels and Wallonia have seen a big jump in numbers. With coronavirus numbers almost doubling, a nationwide curfew has been instituted from midnight to 5 a.m. Also, testing centers are now only offering tests to people with active symptoms.
In addition, restaurants and cafes are closed for one month. The news is not all grim. You can still get takeaway or food deliveries until 10 p.m. However, alcohol sales are prohibited after 8 p.m. There is a reduction in the number of people you can see. Now, you can have four people visit your home. Of course, social distancing is required and masks are recommended. And, as of this week, you may only have one close personal contact for the month. Also, the government is recommending that people work from home wherever possible. Of course, mask-wearing, hand washing and social distancing continue.
For the latest COVID-19 statistics, click here.